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The National Republican Senatorial Committee bought almost $600,000 in television time here, believing that popular former Gov. Angus King (I) is more vulnerable than the available polling suggests.
King is the frontrunner and is expected to caucus with the Democrats if he wins the Senate seat in November. But in a complex three-way race with Maine Secretary of State Charlie Summers (R) and state Sen. Cynthia Dill, the NRSC senses opportunity. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has not invested in Dill, but Republicans say that if her numbers can be elevated, she and King might divide the vote of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents, allowing Summers to win with a plurality.
The NRSC ad buy, which is built around that strategy, is scheduled to last two weeks, according to sources who monitor Maine ad spending. The news of the NRSC offensive was first reported by the Hotline. Full story
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) will campaign in the first-in-the-nation caucus state next week to boost Iowa Rep. Steve King (R).
King’s campaign announced today that Christie will “keynote” King’s Defenders of Freedom luncheon on Sept. 20 in Sioux City, Iowa.
King is seeking re-election in a competitive race against former Iowa first lady Christie Vilsack (D). Both parties are targeting the northwestern Iowa district and Roll Call rates the race as Leans Republican. Full story
Rep. Howard Berman, running against a fellow Democrat in California’s redrawn 30th district, today announced endorsements from Republican Sens. John McCain (Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (S.C.), plus Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.).
Drawn together with Rep. Brad Sherman, Berman is hoping to pick up as many non-Democratic votes as possible in the heavily Democratic district in the San Fernando Valley. The endorsements from the three Senators focused on Berman’s foreign policy chops as ranking member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and his ability to work across the aisle. Full story
President Barack Obama and the Democratic National Committee outraised GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney and the Republican National Committee in the month of August.
The combined efforts of Obama For America and the DNC raised $114 million during the month of August. Romney For President, Romney Victory and the RNC raised about $112 million to close the period with about $169 million in cash on hand. The Obama camp did not provide its cash on hand total in its early numbers release.
Romney and Republicans outraised Obama and the Democrats in July.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel (N.Y.) said Thursday that control of the House remains within his party’s reach.
“It’s absolutely in play and more so at the beginning of September than at the beginning of August,” he told Roll Call in an interview here a few hours before President Barack Obama accepted the Democratic re-nomination for president.
Israel said Democrats left Washington, D.C., early last month “in a fairly static and neutral environment.” But, he argued, their prospects improved last month for several reasons.
“I think we got our mojo back in August,” he said. Full story
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) assailed the Republican presidential nominee from his home state for his lack of foreign policy tonight, giving one of the most energetic and blistering critiques of Mitt Romney so far.
“Ask Osama bin Laden if he is better off now that he was four years ago,” Kerry called out to a cheering crowd.
It was as if these words were on the tip of the collective crowd’s tongue: Where was this guy in 2004?
Kerry’s spirited speech embodied the kind of gusto Democrats yearned to see in his own presidential bid eight years ago. He delivered zinger after zinger, such as Romney “talks like he’s only seen Russia by watching Rocky IV.” Full story
Attorney Joe Kennedy III tonight won the Democratic primary in Massachusetts’ 4th district. He easily dispatched his two opponents and is very likely to become the next Congressman representing the comfortably Democratic seat now held by retiring Rep. Barney Frank (D).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Rep. John Lewis (Ga.) delivered a blistering critique of new GOP-backed voter identification laws, weaving in his personal civil rights story to emphasize to a packed convention crowd, “we have come too far together to ever turn back.”
On the final night of the Democratic National Convention, Lewis called it “unbelievable that there are Republican officials still trying to stop some people from voting.”
“They are changing the rules, cutting polling hours and imposing requirements intended to suppress the votes,” Lewis said. “I’ve seen this before. I’ve lived this before. Too many people struggled, suffered and died to make it possible for every American to exercise their right to vote.” Full story
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) recited the Pledge of Allegiance tonight at the Democratic National Convention, igniting a crowd chanting, “Gabby! Gabby!”
Delegates continued to cheer Giffords as her friend Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.) guided her onto the blue stage. Giffords recited the pledge perfectly, calling out at the end, “Liberty and justice, for all!”
As Giffords walked off the stage, she blew the audience a kiss. Her appearance — and the audience’s excitement — marked one of the most sincere moments of the back-to-back party conventions.
Giffords’ touching words came halfway through a star-studded lineup on the final night of the convention, culminating with President Barack Obama accepting his party’s nomination for re-election. Roll Call first broke the news Giffords would deliver the pledge. Full story
President Barack Obama will ask voters for patience in dealing with the economy and argue that this election will be the “clearest choice of any time in a generation” as he makes his case for a second term in his acceptance speech tonight at the Democratic National Convention.
Obama will point to the difficulty of the task of fixing the economy, according to excerpts released ahead of his prime-time speech.
“I won’t pretend the path I’m offering is quick or easy. I never have. You didn’t elect me to tell you what you wanted to hear. You elected me to tell you the truth. And the truth is, it will take more than a few years for us to solve challenges that have built up over decades.” Full story
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — House Assistant Minority Leader James Clyburn (D-S.C.) weighed in on former President Bill Clinton’s widely praised nominating speech for President Barack Obama, calling it the “second best of the convention” so far.
“I thought it was a great speech,” he said in a brief interview on the floor of the Democratic National Convention tonight. “I gotta give No. 1 to Mrs. Obama, but I thought it was a great speech.”
Although the 2008 Democratic primary between then-Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton took a nasty tone in his home state of South Carolina, Clyburn brushed off any ongoing enmity between the Obama and Clinton camps.
A Republican super PAC on Friday will launch a sharp television assault on embattled Massachusetts Rep. John Tierney (D).
The ad from the YG Action Fund asks what “the truth” is about the eight-term Congressman and tells viewers about the gambling ring of Tierney’s wife’s family.
“What’s the truth about John Tierney?” a female narrator asks, backed by ominous music. “This much we know: His family ran an illegal gambling operation for years. His wife, Patrice, went to jail as Tierney sat silent in court. His own brother-in-law says Tierney knew everything and is a liar.” Full story
The CQ Roll Call Daily Briefing is being published from the Democratic Convention in Charlotte, N.C., this week. For more information on signing up to receive this free email, click here.
THE PODIUM: A two-week run of great American political theater comes to an end tonight. The final act starts at 10:10, when Barack Obama takes the stage for his soliloquy. It’s the most-watched and unfiltered opportunity he’ll have in the precisely two months before Election Day to explain why he deserves to become only the third Democratic president in eight decades to win a second term.
Biden gets his half an hour in the spotlight at 9:30 — the decidedly secondary role assigned to make room for Bill Clinton’s captivating if undisciplined “third way” master class. (Biden was the Wednesday night main event four years ago, as were John Edwards, Joe Lieberman and Al Gore before him.) NBC, which is making up for skipping last night’s coverage in favor of the Cowboys-Giants game, will be the only broadcast network carrying the speech.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) will introduce President Barack Obama during prime time this evening at the final night of the Democratic National Convention.
Vice President Joseph Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, will address delegates at the Time Warner Cable Arena during the 9 p.m. hour, convention organizers announced. And no one is more disappointed about Biden’s speaking slot than Republicans, who have taken to Twitter to campaign for the gaffe-prone vice president to speak during the nationally televised 10 p.m. hour instead.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — President Barack Obama gave a campaign pep talk today to the tens of thousands of volunteers who were shut out of his nomination acceptance speech after Democratic convention organizers moved the event from Bank of America Stadium to Time Warner Cable Arena.
In a conference call, Obama said he couldn’t risk their safety if a severe thunderstorm hit Charlotte in middle of his speech or the others scheduled for this evening, including Vice President Joseph Biden’s nomination acceptance speech. But the president said he understood that many of them had worked hard to get tickets and had traveled to North Carolina at their own expense.
“I know it’s disappointing,” he said. “My main message is we can’t let a little thunder and lightning get us down, we’re going to have to roll with it.”
Obama told them that he hoped they would still join speech watching parties tonight and said he is eager to share his vision when he takes the stage. So far, Obama said, the convention has been “unbelievable,” highlighting first lady Michelle Obama’s Tuesday speech and President Bill Clinton’s speech on Wednesday night.
“Hopefully at the end of this convention, people will say we accomplished what we needed to and offered our vision for the country,” Obama said, “but this is still going to be a really close election.”
He said the Republicans would have “massive checks from wealthy donors” on their side. “The good thing is I’ve got you. … Nothing’s more powerful than the work you guys do.”
And he said that the campaign will work hard to get volunteers opportunities to see him at campaign events around the country. “Hopefully you’ll have even a closer front row seat,” he said.